Deputy Sheriff John Middleton

Deputy Sheriff John Middleton

Harlan County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Monday, August 16, 1943

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John Middleton

Deputy Sheriff John Middleton was shot and killed by a man who was collecting snakes to use at an upcoming church service.

Kentucky law prohibited snake handling at church services. When Deputy Middleton confronted the man about his activities he was shot and killed. The subject who shot him was arrested and charged with murder. Another man who provided the gun was charged an accessory to murder.

Two months later the 30-year-killer, ex-convict turned minister, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.


  • Age 42
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 16, 2020

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